Whoops. Forgot what I was doing…oh yeah. Today there are a number of theories, speculations and Oh My Gosh the Sky is Falling arguments, articles and books that propose various effects resulting from our love of the Internet and tech gadgetry. If you, too, spend a fair amount of your week (say 80 hrs) working online or being gadgety you might be interested in the arguments being posited. Let’s see…
Some of the major arguments point to the facts that (collectively) our thinking processes appear to be changing from our extensive use of the Internet. Where we once were more given to deep, linear thinking, we’re now more adept at layered, spacial, and possibly multi-directional thinking. Our brain patterns do seem to be changing their processing paths as we spend more and more time online using Internet tools and technologies.
(Similarly) Arguments on whether an overload of gadetry is starting to re-wire our brains.
The New York Times published an interesting piece (Hooked on Gadgets and Paying a Mental Price) on the ways gadgets seem to be (a) invading our daily lives, absorbing any and all free time; and (b) causing our brains to release dopamine – a chemical reaction (& drug) to the enjoyment of – for instance – receiving a new text message.
And while it has been published that social media has replaced pornography as the #1 online time suck, it would appear dopamine is still very much in the picture. Re-wiring our brains. Causing us to become addicted to our gadgets and networks?
Yet, there are some (Kevin Kelly and Robert Wright for instance) that believe even in light of such evidences that our connectivity through social networks, the Internet and gadgets are positively helping us become part of a supportive eco-system, a superorganism of sorts. This argument suggests that our changes aren’t inherently lethal, rather an evolution.
However it does work out – collectively we do appear to be spending more and more time, becoming more and more scattered, and are replacing previously praised practices. *Independent news documentary source Frontline offers an interesting look into ‘life on the virtual frontier’ in their Digital Nation series, worth a peek.
So, if I haven’t totally weirded you out and made you run screaming toward the ? Internet : ) perhaps you’ll stay awhile and humor me with a comment or two? Your thoughts are intriguing – course mine must be too because people are always screaming at me, “What Are You Thinking!?”
Please have at it, share your stories, gasps, resources, else. And please, if you see me offline, stop me and say, “Hey! – What about that?”
Photo credit goes to Quapan on Flickr – thanks for sharing.